Firstly, I know I don't post here often but I have something worrying me and I would like to ask you all.
I'm a 17 year old Australian just about to enter year 12. I am very interested in software engineering and computes in general. However, I'm not just another one of those kids who likes playing games so I think I should get a degree in IT. At the risk of sounding full of myself, I think I do actually have some skills in software engineering and IT.
I was the lead developer and project manager for the SWEBS Web Server for a long time (most of the projects history) until I gave it up so it didn't distract me from year 12. I am also the person writing the engine for Racealerts that scans a host of sites for information on races (lots of regular expressions and tokenising crap). I'm also doing a website for our local cummunity that my girlfriend and I invented (when its ready it will be at www.bheardwhyalla.com).
Now my problem: I'm not sure if I should go into IT.
I've seen a lot of the professionals on these boards complaining about the IT industry accross the world. I know its full and probably very hard to break into. I've also seen a lot of programmers saying that their jobs are just another job, not as fun as hobby-coding is. Many people seem to put down the IT industry, and as much as I really want to get into software engineering or IT, I'm not sure if it would really be worth it. After high school I plan to go to uni to get a degree (perhaps with honours), but I'm not so sure now.
I'm very good at maths (in my town anyway), so maybe I could go into engineering, or accounting, or other crap like that.
I guess what I'm asking is, would someone like me with my history and a degree under my belt, be able to make a decent living off the IT industry programming, and actually having a bit of fun with their job?
This isn't a knee-jerk reaction to a post I might have read somewhere about someone complaining, its something I've been scared about for the past few years, from the hundreds of articles/posts/letters I've seen complaining about the industry from many sites.
What do you think? Should I just stick with being a hobbyist programmer :( and get a good job in another field like engineering, or should I try and make it in a failing, outsourced IT market?